Rainbow Trays - Colour Coded Anaesthetic Trays

  1. Rainbow trays
  2. Rainbow Trays
Rainbow TraysTM are colour coded anaesthetic trays for use in operating theatres by anaesthetists supporting the ISO 26825:2008 colour coded critical care labelling system. The trays provide a safe environment for the transportation and storage of syringes and ampoules.
The objective of Rainbow TraysTM is to deliver standardised storage of drugs using a tray system that incorporates logical progression integrated with the established international colour coding for critical care drug labelling, without interfering with or confining the normal working practices of individual anaesthetists.
Rainbow TraysTM have been designed with the collaboration of anaesthetists, pharmacists and heathcare workers in response to the demands of best practice, clinical governance and patient safety​ 
Rainbow trays loaded with drawn up syringes
Rainbow TraysTM are an innovative but simple product that will make a significant contribution to patient safety in all areas where anaesthesia is delivered.
Rainbow trays loaded with syringes showing insert trays
"Anaesthetic practice is unique because anaesthetists are personally responsible for all steps from drug preparation to drug administration, removing many barriers against medication error that would normally be in place in other healthcare environments." Iain Moppett, Associate Professor & Honorary Consultant Anaesthetist
Rainbow trays showing drug types
Rainbow TraysTM comprise three separate trays; The Main Tray for routine drugs, The Local Tray for local anaesthetics needing to be kept seperate from the routine drugs to avoid accidental use and The Emergency Tray for drugs only to be used in emergency situations.
This configuration enables the routine, local and emergency drugs to be clearly separated with the two smaller trays being situated beneath the main routine tray if desired.

Current Practice

Current practice for the transportation and storage of anaesthetic drugs prior to administration usually involves all the drugs being placed in a single non-compartmentionalised tray made from either paper pulp or polypropylene.

This means that drugs can be swapped or misplaced and the respective ampoule is not at hand for quick checking prior to administration
rainbow trays
Rainbow Trays deliver on four important issues:


  • Supports the ASTM critical care colour code labelling system
  • Standardises the logical progression of use from induction to reversal


  • Physical separation of all drug types to reduce the risk of syringe swaps
  • Complete segregation of emergency and local anaesthetics
  • Keeps relevant ampoule with syringe for effective double checking

Infection Control

  • Bacteriostatic material will not harbour any bacterial growth
  • No dispersal of harmful pulp fibres in operating area
  • Single use trays

Patient Safety

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AAGBI & RCoA critical care syringe labelling system